Winnie Brinks
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Winnie Brinks

Winnie Brinks
Member of the Michigan Senate
from the 29th district

January 1, 2019
Dave Hildenbrand
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the 76th district

January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2018
Roy Schmidt
Rachel Hood
Personal details
Born (1968-02-17) February 17, 1968 (age 53)
Mount Vernon, Washington
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceGrand Rapids, Michigan
Alma materCalvin College
OccupationNon-profit director

Winnie Brinks (born February 17, 1968)[1] is a Democratic politician, serving as member of the Michigan Senate beginning in 2019, and the Michigan House of Representatives from 2013 through 2018. Before serving in elected office, Brinks worked as an executive at a non-profit.[2] She serves as the Michigan Democratic Caucus Policy Chair.[3] In the Michigan House, she served on the Workforce and Talent Development, Education, Health Policy, and Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committees.[1] She also serves as chair of the Progressive Women's Caucus, a non-profit organization that addresses concerns about women's health, pay equity, economic security and gender violence.[4]

Education and early career

Brinks earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish from Calvin College.[1] For several years she was Executive Director of One Way House Inc., a residential facility for non-violent female offenders.[5] She also was a caseworker at The Source, an employee support organization.[5][6]

Political career

Brinks was recruited to run for office after Roy Schmidt, who had previously been elected to the Michigan House as a Democrat, switched to the Republican Party at the deadline to file for re-election, leaving no legitimate Democratic candidate on the primary ballot. Brinks ran in the primary as a write-in candidate, exceeding the 1,000 votes required to win the Democratic nomination. She then defeated Schmidt in the November general election.[7][8] In 2014, she was re-elected, defeating Republican challenger Donijo DeJonge,[9] and in 2016 she defeated Republican challenger Casey J. O'Neill.[10]

Due to term limits, Brinks was unable to run for re-election in 2018, and instead ran successfully for the 29th district of the Michigan Senate. Brinks defeated fellow state representative Chris Afendoulis, a Republican, and Libertarian and Working Class Party candidates. She succeeded Dave Hildenbrand, also a Republican, who was required by term limits to vacate the seat.[11]

Position Election Year Votes Opponent's
State Representative 2012 23,530 12,337 Roy Schmidt [8]
State Representative 2014 15,804 13,822 Donijo DeJonge[9]
State Representative 2016 27,046 18,473 Casey J. O'Neill[10]
State Senator 2018 70,715 50,225 Chris Afendoulis[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Michigan Manual 2015-2016" (PDF). State of Michigan. p. 178. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ "Michigan's Newest Legislative Members". Michigan Capitol Confidential. January 14, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ "2015-2016 House Democratic Caucus Leadership". Michigan House Democrats. 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ "Legislative members of the Progressive Women's Caucus". 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ a b Reynolds, Jennnifer (2014). "Rep. Winnie Brinks: Sharing Her Voice, Listening to Others". West Michigan Woman Magazine.
  6. ^ "Our Mission". The Source. 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  7. ^ Jackson, Angie (December 8, 2012). "Winnie Brinks takes oath of office as Michigan's 76th District State Representative". MLive. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ a b "2012 Michigan Election Results". Michigan Department of State. September 28, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  9. ^ a b "2014 Michigan Election Results". Michigan Department of State. September 28, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ a b "2016 Michigan Election Results". Michigan Department of State. November 28, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  11. ^ a b "2018 Michigan Official General Election Results - 11/06/2018". Retrieved 2019.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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